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Orchard Downs Community Gardens

Community gardens built on the farmlands at Orchard Downs are available to use for growing their own food. They are managed by volunteers who assign and take payment for plots for Family & Graduate Housing. Housing pays for the water via funds that are collected, and they manage the plowing, clean-up, and maintenance of the garden area. Gardeners range from University administrators and students to community members. This program has been active since at least the 1990s.

Vermicompost

The dining halls at the University residency halls produce an estimated average 14,962.5 pounds, or 7 tons, of food waste every week. To combat the amount of this food waste that goes to the landfills a pilot on-site  vermi-composting project on the Sustainable Student Farm will be created. The project has the potential to turn into a campus-wide vermi-composting model.

Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI)

The UIUC Biodiesel Initiative (or Illinois Biodiesel Initiative) is a project that evolved from Engineers Without Borders and has collected Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) from dining halls on campus in order to convert it to biodiesel fuel. This fuel has been used by campus vehicles at the Facilities & Services (F&S) Garage and Car Pool since spring of 2006.  

Reduce Cooling Tower and Chiller Plant Water Use

The 2015 iCAP, chapter 5, objective 2 is "Improve the water efficiency of cooling towers by limiting the amount discharged to sewer to less than 20% of water intake for chiller plant towers, and less than 33% for stand-alone building towers, by FY20." The results of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s True Cost of Water Study yielded five action items and two pilot studie

Red Oak Rain Garden

The Red Oak Rain Garden soaks up rainwater, enhances the campus and community aesthetic and educational experience, and promotes well-being for everyone who visits. 

Constructed in 2006 by Prof. Tony Endress and his NRES 420 class, a garden renovation is building on this original effort. The new planting palette installed Fall 2019 has earned recognition from several conservation organizations. 

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